And the journey goes on..
Journeys are a way of life. We wade through life looking for a purpose,seeking one milestone after another, looking for destinations but realizing that very often than not,there is no end to a journey. Home is really a state of mind then. For a vagabond like me , my alter ego lies in a spirit that is lost in the hills, running down the plains, getting her feet soaked in waters and reliving the past in a monument.
In the last two months and ten days, I have travelled to various heights and depths. I went to the Himalayas – Ladakh and Himachal, crossed cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, gazed at the Taj Mahal and lost myself in Fatehpur Sikri .Then I went closer home near Bangalore to the jungles and hills in Kabini and Coorg My last trip this weekend was to Daroji and Hampi, where I had the best of both worlds-nature and heritage..
Im often asked why do I travel ? Am I an escapist,shunning civilisation ? Do I want to run away from the ” real” life and holiday all my life ? Or is it a way to forget myself..Even worse, people today consider travel as badge value and an addiction. For many, travel is all about Lonely Planet, must see places and a photograph as a souvenir behind a monument..a proof of been there , done that !Ive been through all of these stages and more..
To begin with my journeys have been more ” real” than an escape and in the last two months specifically, they have shown me the path more than once . Its more of a self discovery, where the choices and dilemmas in life become more obvious and yet, I have let life take its own path, like the meandering road .When in doubt, my motto has been look for the road not taken.
Ive learnt some of life’s hardest lessons while travelling. It is not about managing the extremes of weather or pushing oneself to climb another rock, but its about human relationships. Ive made friends, lost friends, been touched by a stranger and been hurt by companions..and yet as emotions come and go, you learn that be it the mountains or the monuments, they have withstood ego and passions. You learn to let go as you realize that human nature is extremely frail..you are just a microcosm in the entire universe and strangers will replace friends who in turn become strangers. All roads may not meet all the time, sometimes as friends you take different paths, sometimes you choose to avoid the other’s path, at other times, you just turn around and take a different direction, but you need to walk on..till you meet another human face at the end of the road.
Ive often lost myself in the past – in a world of myths and monuments. Ive unearthed tales and they have brought out the child in me looking for stories in every stone. But as I look at these mighty structures withstanding the ravages of time, I feel humbled and yet a strange sense of belonging, a connection that probably is deep rooted. The silence tells me that Im part of the “past” as well. The present is however where I belong and the future is a question of time.
Travelling has taught me to appreciate the finer nuances of nature. You may argue that a sunset is a sunset and the same butterfly flits in and out of the flower in your balcony. However, it is only after you see the crimson reflection in the far away waters and the wild flowers in the jungle that you learn to appreciate these finer points of life.On another note,it is perfectly fine if you cant scale the mountain or go deep into the forest or climb that craggy cliffs.In real, you dont have to travel far to reach out to the nature..sometimes it is just a few steps from where you stand, but a lot of miles in your mind, as you go through the various mazes of thoughts to arrive here.
Travelling Ive realized is all about perspectives. It is about looking at life with a different point of view. Sometimes you see a kaleidescope of colours, many times its a monotone of browns . The barrenness hits you, the fertile greens lure you, the blues become you..but you learn to appreciate each for its uniqueness. The various cultures fascinate me, but you realize that its not possible to trade lives. For many, a shepherd’s life seems to be ideal as the urbanite often thinks the life of a rustic is simple yet fascinating..yet, their challenges are something that we need to grapple with.
Finally travelling is not always about must see places..its about what you want to see.
Ive just finished my 200th post here and its a mere statistic compared to the miles you have all travelled with me..Thanks for being there, walking with me, standing right behind me and sometimes even showing me the way. To me however there is no destination -its just the journey